Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Reflections on graduation & time passages June 11, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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ON THE AFTERNOON MY HUSBAND and I dined at Teluwut in Lake Mills, Iowa, family and friends were filtering into Jayde Thompson’s graduation reception across the street at the Senior Citizen Center.


Lake Mills Iowa grad reception signs


The juxtaposition of that reception venue was not lost on me. Young and old. Beginnings and endings.

Not that senior citizen is an end. But it’s nearer ending than beginning. And although those of us who qualify for senior citizen status may sometimes feel young at heart, we no longer fit the physical definition of young.

All too many days now I wonder how the years vanished. I was once a Jayde Thompson, albeit not a cheerleader, embarking on life, eyes focused on the future. Today it’s not as much about the future as about yesterday. Or perhaps it’s that I think more now about my children’s futures.

May and June mark periods of transition for many families. Passage of time. Ceremony and applause and tears. Moving forward and standing still. Time gone. Youth beginning that all too quick movement of days, weeks, months and years that propel into the future, to wondering where yesterday went.

© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


23 Responses to “Reflections on graduation & time passages”

  1. treadlemusic Says:

    I clicked “Like” merely as an acknowledgement not that I really ‘like’ that my energy level is somewhat on the wane some days/times! Maybe it’s because your post is too true and I avoid taking that thought on “face to face”!?! Whatever the reason……it’s a cloudy, soon-to-be-rainy/stormy day with the very real possibility of flash flooding (3″ to 5″ of rain….really?????? Ugh!). BUT, I’ll think about all that later as I prepare to have a couple stop by for morning coffee and kindly quilty talk as we celebrate her (belated) birthday…. a bit ironic in light of your posted thoughts and my mind spillage!!!! LOL!!!!! And so it goes….

  2. Your thoughtful post has me thinking, in a wistful way, about my own graduations, my kids’ transitions, and the 50th wedding anniversary celebration that I’ll be attending this weekend. My brother, who is 20 years older than me, is celebrating 50 years of marriage; I was the flower girl at his wedding. Things seem to have sped up in the last few years. Sigh.

    • Oh, yes, I can relate. Time has a way of speeding up as we age. Wow, twenty years between you and your brother. That is a significant time span. Congratulations to him and his wife on 50 years of marriage. That is reason to celebrate.

  3. hotlyspiced Says:

    I read another blog yesterday from Minnesota as well and she was sharing the exact same thoughts. Where does time go and yes, at graduation events we are reminded of just how much time has passed. Recently we had to attend the funeral of a friend of ours from school. There were about 30 of us from our year who turned up to celebrate his life. Besides honouring our friend and mourning his loss, we spent time commenting about how quickly the years have passed. Where did that time go? xx

  4. Simply beautiful.
    Did I write this?!! xx kiss from Duluth.

  5. Jackie Says:

    I think that will be the hardest thing for me to do, accept being called a Senior Citizen, not that it’s a bad thing it’s just that it puts me in “that category”. I think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned that a senior still feels young at heart! I feel so young but much older when it comes to the physical demands of my body….ugh p.s. I’m having knee surgery July 17th :/

  6. Great post. Time flies too fast

  7. Just the word “graduate” implies moving on, and there are certainly many “degrees” in living a long life. The trick is to finally graduate with honor(s).

  8. Sue Ready Says:

    May and June mark periods of transition for many families. Passage of time. Ceremony and applause and tears. Moving forward and standing still. Time gone.
    Audrey your words printed above capture the essence of the moments we all feel spilling over with emotions. Thanks for bringing your readers such insightful observations.

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